The following is not an Earth-shattering statement: the Email Service Provider (ESP) space is cluttered. For this reason, we decided to stick to the back-end email delivery infrastructure piece and not become an ESP — following our common theme of blazing our own trail.
You see, the ESP world is far too feature-driven and far too bells-and-whistles focused, packed with those that battle daily to stand out by means of introducing the most snazzy front-end feature within their already too feature-rich applications.
Yes, I said it. “Too feature rich.” Better template building, easier list segmentation, social sharing plug-ins and redundant analytics lead as the way to win that next account. “Features, features, features” have become the name of the game for growth. Whatever happened to “ease-of use” as a feature?
It’s funny though. What I see is that the company with the better marketing and sales engine itself is actually the company that is ahead (see MailChimp and Constant Contact). But that’s a story for a different day.
Our simple observation back in the fall of 2010 was that no ESP truly is focusing enough on delivery and scalability. Both of those are features too, right?! Because of that, clients aren’t paying attention to inbox success either within their applications, ecommerce platforms, CRM systems and any other transactional or bulk outbound email systems they may create or operate.
That cute word deliverability (which I’m not even sure is a real word!) somehow became an afterthought along the way.
We started asking ourselves internally, “What is the point of spending all this money on an ESP if the results of the email actually making it into the inbox are so unpredictable?” It was a crapshoot and no one seemed to care, so we set out to solve this growing problem and answer that troublesome question.
In December 2010, we bought Manchester-based ESP SendLabs and added a team with 10+ years of application and business practice experience of building those pesky features, growing subscriber bases, improving list engagement and blowing out revenue projections through marketing campaigns from a deep and wide customer base that included Tyco International, Hard Rock Cafe, Leary Firefighters Foundation, GY&K Marketing, Dyn and many more.
Instead of staying in the ESP quagmire, we decided to strictly focus on something else altogether. On the surface, this M&A event confused many contemporaries in the space. It took a few months for it to make sense. Our marketing and sales engine needed to gear up and our engineering and product teams needed to dive in.
So after acquiring SendLabs, we dumped their fancy pants front-end application almost immediately. It probably crushed their founders deep down, but we knew it was the way forward for Dyn. It was the only way to stick out and stay focused, and the only way for the ESP world and businesses with bad delivery to wake up and improve inbox success without having to invest in doing it in-house all by themselves.
Truthfully, we were also sick of having to describe ourselves as a ‘DNS Provider’ — thus needing to repeatedly explain what DNS is over and over and over again. An industry with an acronym as its title is up against it from the start, which is why I always say that whoever stops calling it DNS will win this space someday.
Besides that rant (another story for yet another day), we were committed to redefining ourselves and knew that the email world needed some true premium enterprise infrastructure help too. After the purchase, we quickly changed our positioning to an Internet Infrastructure company. We break into your data center and remove the two hardware boxes that you’re probably paying no attention to, but could certainly bite you in the ass and truly affect your bottom line: DNS & SMTP.
So our pitch for the business evolved and our pitch for DynECT Email Delivery was born.
Simply put, we are the best of both worlds for a company sending important emails of any kind. Just like in the pre-SendLabs days at Dyn, we have over seven years of operational delivery experience powering SMTP and MTA services for businesses of all sizes (see our Dyn Email Services originally created in 2004). Coupled with the 10+ years of email marketing and business practice experience gained from the email-obsessed team that made up SendLabs, Dyn is an extremely diverse and unique player in this space.
With a focus on deliverability through consultative methods and leaving behind the production of slick front-end application features, we strongly believe the team we have assembled, the ISP relationships we’ve developed, the ridiculous email operations experience we’ve garnered, the robust technology we’ve built (and continue to evolve), the unparalleled experience in capacity scaling we boast, the tight focus on account management and collaboration with our clients and the flexibility within our development group make us the perfect fit for any business as serious as we are about inbox success.